Friday, 11 January 2008

Playing with C Graders Again

Last night was my first track meet for the year, and at 7.30 pm it was still high 30’s outside and a similar temperature inside the shed. The numbers were down, probably due to the date as much as the heat, and so the grades were combined; D & C , B & A. This made for some fun, very fast racing.

First up: scratch race. This is the first time the women outnumbered the men, well boys in this case, 5:3. MiniMe Commissiare advised C grade to play nice, and be gentle with us D graders. But my impish mind had other ideas about playing nicely with the C graders, knowing full well what kind of damage Laine Hammond and visiting junior Michael Docker (whose BT is one of the most colourful I’ve seen – it’s pretty cool) could and would inflict. The pace was comfortable for the first half of the race. About lap 7, the tall guy in front of me rolled off his turn and I hit the accelerator. I was pleasantly surprised when my legs responded better than expected, so I kept the pace up for my lap. I knew I had Laine on my tail, but didn’t realise until I rolled off that only two had managed to stick my wheel: Laine and Tyler Spurrell. I was pretty happy with the hole I managed to create in the bunch, but made a fatal error as I went to fill the gap, realising I had run out of legs to go with Laine and Tyler, and pulled back up, losing power to keep going with the rest of the bunch as I waited for another gap to appear to slot into. O well, thems the breaks. I’ll know better next time. A silly mistake.

Points Score: I didn’t last long in this race, with those nasty C graders pouring on the pace from the opening laps (revenge for a naughty D grade upping the ante in the previous race??). I retired hot, bothered and with rising asthma after the first sprint, with some finger wagging and berating coming from the Commissaire. Michael Docker did some hard work in all the sprints, and I think won the race. He also won a love fest with gastric dissonance afterwards, having turned himself inside out, literally as it turns out, to score points. The poor bugger revisited his pre-race snacks, and that was his night over, with exertion and heat getting to him. I saw Michael in action at Maryborough, where he backed up the U15 A and B races, winning both, and then continuing to race hard only a short time after those races in the teams pursuit, from memory. He is one tough, gutsy and strong rider, and a name not to forget (with a bike that won’t be forgotten either!)

Motor pace: Just before the start of the motorpace, I realised I hadn’t changed my gear up. O well, a bit of cadence work is probably what I need in amongst all the strength work I’ve been doing. Craig kept the pace nice and easy on the motorbike, and the breathing and HR didn’t start to really lift until about 6 laps out. Lap 4 saw me behind the motorbike again, with that tall guy, who has a bit of speed so I discovered in race 1, directly behind me. Instead of doing a “proper” exit, covering my gap until the rider behind filled it, I let the motorbike slide away from me a little, then launched myself up and out of my spot, leaving a good gap for the tall guy to bridge. I wanted him to use some energy before the bike pulled off. I hung around the middle of the pack along with Tyler, and rolled up to the front, accelerating with the bunch once the motorbike came off. I hung in for a bit, but nerves got the better of me as riders behind me started to really sprint through. Instead of going with them, I hesitated until it was clear, then wound it up. I finished off the bunch again, but overall rode a pretty good race, setting myself up for a good finish, just making a small error as the pace picked up once the motor bike pulled off.

I’m happy with the way I am riding at the moment, with it now obvious that my skills and experience (courage!) rather than fitness are holding me up from better finishes.


hippy said...

Pics of Docker's bike?
I'm sure I've heard his name before somewhere? Does he have an older brother or maybe he's won/ridden some bigger stuff?

Lawrence said...

Michael is Mitch Docker's cousin. Will hunt around for a pic of his kermit bike! Complete with kermit rims..

hippy said...

That's him! Phew, something I don't have to think about all day. Ta!
Kermit bike eh? ponders new build.. :)

Alex Simmons said...

Now, leaving a gap to the moto and pulling out of the line - that's a bit cheeky. Not sure the boys here would like that sort of move ;)

Lawrence said...

Cheeky??!! That's me! :-D